More Macs left behind by OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2

“My MacBook has a Core 2 Duo CPU and features the Nvidia 9400M graphics chip, which is the cut off point for many Macs. If your Mac features the integrated Intel GMA950 or X3100, then you were already out of luck with the first Developer Preview of Mountain Lion,” Simon Royal reports for Low End Mac.

“With the release of Developer Preview 2 on March 16, another shock culling of Macs is proposed, and this time it looks like it includes mine, much to my annoyance,” Royal reports. “The latest requirement is that your Mac must boot into a 64-bit kernel. That’s okay, you might think, all Core 2 Duo Macs are 64-bit. Well yes, they [are], but not all can boot into 64-bit kernel. For whatever reason, Apple decided that some Macs around the 2008/2009 era can only boot natively into a 32-bit kernel.”

Royal reports, “To check if your machine is automatically booting to 64-bit, have a look in your System Profiler under Software and there is a line that says “64-bit kernel and extensions” – if that says Yes, then you are fine.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time and technology marches on. Thank Jobs, Apple pushes the envelope. We much prefer that to stagnation.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” for the heads up.]


  1. Wasn’t there another pile of operating system stuff that needed high-end graphics chips so they could load in more eye candy? What was that called?…oh yeah, Aero/Vista. Nice to see you’re coming around, Apple.

  2. I’m using a late 2008 MBP and Snow Leopard. While it automatically boots into a 32 kernel, holding down the 4 and 6 keys while starting the computer boots the 64 kernel. So no problem here.

    For Core2 machines on the fringe but 64 capable, perhaps Apple will release a firmware update pre ML release.

  3. A computer that’s less than three years old made obsolete already?! If true, that really hurts! Seems Apple’s good fortune isn’t meant for their customers. I like the old Apple.

    1. Well said. I love Apple, been using their shite since 89. But this new “leave everybody but the wealthy in the dust” paradigm is BS. Go on MDN, preach the word. Drink the cool aid and shovel the dollars to Apple.

      Oh shite here, here come the haters ;-\

      1. If you have a Mac that is several years old, then it will continue to work just fine after the release of OS X 10.8. You can continue to use OS X 10.7, which is a fine OS that is one or two generations newer than the version of OS X that came with your Mac when it was new.

        I don’t hate you, bildad. But I don’t agree with your characterization of Apple.

        Would you prefer that Apple suppress new functionality since it will not function on your Mac?

        Would you prefer a Wintel-type computer that fails after two or three years so that you get your new OS on a new computer?

        Would you prefer 8 years of an OS like Windows XP service pack infinity (followed by Vista) rather than several inexpensive OS upgrades to a computer that will continue to serve you well for another several years?

        Or would you rather that Apple allow you and others to install OS X 10.8 on an underspecified “minimal” system configuration on which it would perform like a dog, after which Apple would be vilified by the media? Apple is likely (and justifiably) a bit wary of that potential pothole after the uproar regarding the upgrade of the iPhone 3GS to iOS 4.

        Apple’s approach is continuous improvement in the design and implementation of Macs, OS X, iOS devices, and iOS, even when some older devices have to be trimmed from the upgrade path. I am aware that Apple is a huge corporation and that profits are very important. But I am not as cynical as you – I don’t believe that was a significant factor in setting the Mac hardware cutoff for OS X 10.8.

      2. What? Where’s the serial port, and the PS2 port?!
        What? I can’t dual boot OS 8 and Mountain Lion?!
        Apple has gone to shite!
        We’re doooooomed!

        What’s the fastest route to the Microsoft Store?!

          1. Then please explain: what WAS his point?

            The idea that not supporting a brand-new DEVELOPER PREVIEW of a POINT UPDATE = “Obsolete”?

            Obsolete for whose purposes? For what tasks?

            It was a hysterical and unhelpful screech which got exactly the response it deserved.

            “The Old Apple”?
            Which one, the one that deleted optical drives?
            Or the one that killed Flash?
            Or the one that removed floppy drives and serial ports?

      3. bildad not everyone will be able to keep up, and that’s okay. Those of us who can afford a new Mac every few years do so because there’s nothing more important than the work we do, so… sucks to be you.

    2. The old Apple that made the 6800 processor obsolete by moving over to PowerPC that they then dropped by moving over to Intel, or do you mean the Apple that killed Classic OS to move to OSX and now is killing 32 bit to move everything to 64 bit?
      Not sure what old Apple you are talking about.

      1. The old Apple that made the 6800 processor obsolete by moving over to PowerPC […]

        Yet continued to support the MC68000 ISA for at least another five years.

        Apple that killed Classic OS to move to OSX […]

        “Classic” ran under Mac OS X from version 10.0 (2001) until Leopard (2007)–6 years.

        What we’re talking about here is 3 year old hardware.

          1. His point is that cut off affects him negatively. Several recent examples: customer has a still perfectly good running iMac, albeit older OS version. Customer goes to buy the latest iPhone, damn it won’t sync with his computer, because it requires a newer version of iTunes, which requires a newer OS. Real customer pain. Could have been eliminated, apple has the capability to make it work, but chooses not to. icloud would be another example, many are not at lion due to software compatibility issues. Cannot use iCloud.

            Don’t be so smug, you are personifying the elitist pr!ck stereotype apple users are labeled as being. Apple won, everyone wants their kit now. They were legendary for running forever, we’ve bragged for years about old updates making old macs faster, giving them new features. Those days seem to be a fond memory, apple is now using new features as a wedge to get people to speed up their upgrade cycle. Some of us see it for what it is and are not such fanboys we cannot admit the truth.

            1. Well said. I can’t stand reading this BS from some Mac heads. Not everyone sits in movies basement steeling photoshop and wasting time. My machines are all money makers, period and i will not be upgrading a room full of Mac Pro’s just so we can use iCloud.

              Apple has more and more of a who cares, we are the ones on top attitude now.

              Take iTunes library sharing. On the old AppleTV you could get content from any Mac on the network but now you can only share the content if you are signed into the same AppleID. That sucks big. What about 4 dudes sharing a place for school? Are they to all share an AppleID just so they can have their own content on the livening room AppleTV?

              Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      1. You could still boot and run vista, you just couldn’t enable Aero so you didn’t see transparent effects on the dialogs. I knew a few people screwed by that upgrade.

      1. Click on the “Software” line in the Contents pane of System Profiler. Look for the “64-bit Kernel and extensions:” line and see if you still think your 2006 model is still OK. My 2009 MacBook Pro says no. Many of the extensions say “64-bit (Intel): Yes”. My iMac bought the same day is OK.

  4. My friend still has a Dual CPU G4 (two CPUs, not cores) and still using Corel for advertising. Of course he has a MacBook for traveling and presentations, but the good old PowerMac G4 still on business with Leopard. Can any one say his windows computer from 6 years ago still working in intensive graphics applications?

    1. I run prepress for a commercial sheetfed printing business doing intense graphics. Most of our workstations are Macs. We still have an XP box, circa 2005, with Adobe Creative Suite on it that runs everything we throw at it. Hell we can even run PageMaker, from the 90s, on it. Can you really accuse MS of not being backwards compatible? I’m no MS fan but really?

      BTW I have a full stable of G3 G4 G5 and Intel Macs still hard at work. Lion? Not so much. Not in the foreseeable future.

      1. Totally agree…the move to Lion was, in my opinion, the worst thing Apple has ever done including geoport, the hockey puck mouse, e-world, the Apple digital cameras, licensing the OS,
        hiring Gil Amelio…Lion takes the cake. It is riddled with bugs, and introduces a kind of dumbing down of the system that simply makes no sense.

        1. Lion has not been my favorite either. Hate to say that the “Save As” issue still bothers me. Takes extra steps to do the same thing now. But there’s not a lot else I found really exciting.

          I do think that Mountain Lion may bring some significant improvements since it will have to leave so many recent machines behind. Maybe it’s just the retina display support it is expected to have. With such a high threshold, I do hope it will be worth it.

  5. I beg to disagree, MDN. Apple has been erecting virtual walls where technically there are none: White MacBooks are capable of booting Mac OS X to a 64 bit kernel, but can’t because Apple decided only MacBook Pros should have that right. Even installing a 64 bit version of Windows via Boot Camp is denied to White MacBook owners.

      1. I had the same problem. In the end i had to manually point windows to the location of location of the drivers.

        I think I had to rip some of the drivers out of a package or two first. I don’t quite remember the exact steps I took as it has been a couple of years.

        I do remember thinking it was a bit more work than it should have been!

  6. You can’t really tell much from developer previews. It’s possible it is just a limitation for this portion of testing and they will broaden the range as Summer nears. It’s also possible that the older machines will be left in the cold. Usually, though, Apple makes the software available to machines up to 4 years old at the cutoff.

  7. My first Macs served me for more than a decade before becoming obsolete from OS updates. My next Macs didn’t make it to eight years. My current ones have barely made to it five and six, and the mini I bought in Dec of 2010 is apparently also obsolete.

    I was planning to upgrade to Mountain Lion from Snow Leopard, but that won’t be happening now. It would cost me in excess of $6000 for new Mac hardware “upgrades” (and I’m not talking Mac Pros) that this software upgrade would require.

    If Apple keeps up this type of “progress” it won’t be too many years before every OS upgrade will require a new Mac.

  8. Hopefully, Apple will open up the specs with an update. I have a MB and mac mini bought in early 2010. They are the late 2009 models and have similar specs. It would seem rather strange that they would not be covered by an OS update when they are still under Applecare.

    These machines actually replaced an old Yikes PowerMac G4. It came with 8.6. Along the way, it had 9.0, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 installed.

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